The Jan/Feb issue of Utne Reader has an article about the new economy, and replacements for consumerism. Specifically, communitarianism and transcendental pursuits. It also discusses happiness and ‘the good life’.
Favorite idea from this article:
“I certainly do not expect that most people will move away from a consumerist mind-set overnight. Some may keep one foot in the old value system even as they test the waters of the new one, just like those who wear a blazer with jeans. Still others may merely cut back on conspicuous consumption without guilt or fear of social censure. Societies shift direction gradually. All that is needed is for more and more people to turn the current economic crisis into a liberation from the obsession with consumer goods and the überwork it requires—and, bit by bit, begin to rethink their definition of what it means to live a good life.”
I wore blazers with jeans 30 years ago–and now I am in overalls! Because THAT is the clothing needed to walk to work, garden my food, deliver Nick’s Eggs to town, and hang my clothes outside for drying. I liked the overall message of the well-written article; but, alas, feel the “luxury” of time needed for gradual change is a (quickly) passing opportunity. It’s like something Bill McKibben said (paraphrased…) what we wouldn’t give for the environmental crises of the 1970s.
That being said, I totally agree that early edaptors keep a foot in each camp so better to counter crazy ideas like current consumption is even an option, let alone desirable.
Peace!! and Carrots!! Angel
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